HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Another Rocket Chef is in the books. The annual culinary competition raises money for Merrimack Hall's Happy Headquarters Outreach Program and the Food Bank of North Alabama. This year, there were some major milestones.
The competitors raised more than $22,000 combined during the online fundraising part of the culinary contest. It's the most ever by a group of chefs in the event's five-year history.
The competing chefs for Rocket Chef 2018 were:
- Chef Irwanto Fnu from Yoshi Sushi Fusion
- Chef Phillip Collier from The Ledges
- Chef Sebastien Maris from Beast Mode Food Truck
- Chef Jeremy Esterly from Mezza Luna
For the first time, there was a tie. Chef Phillip Collier from The Ledges prevailed because, as the competition rules state, he had the highest culinary score of the two tie holders. Before the culinary competition on Monday night, August 13th, each chef worked hard to raise money for the two charities. The cooking scores were determined by a panel of judges, and points for fundraising were added together at the end of the competition to determine the winner.
"A lot of hard work went into this," described Chef Phillip Collier after winning the coveted title. "It's a great community event. There were some talented chefs up here. It was a very hard competition and the ingredients were not easy. A bad plate did not make it to the judge's table, so it was a close call. I don't envy being one of the judges."
Here is a breakdown of the mystery basket ingredients:
- Sour Cream
- Preserved Lemon
- Airline Chicken
- Jalapeño Jelly
- Cocktail Sauce
- Butterscotch Flavored Vodka
- Lemon and Rosemary Hummus